Wow! So what a few days we've had!!! The last few days have certainly been the worst so far!!! Let me begin....
So I left you on Wednesday about to head off to 4000 islands on the overnight sleeping bus!!! Well the bus was a complete joke!!! VIP i think not!!! The double beds were just about big enough for 1 person, and we intended to fit the three of us in one so one of us didnt have to share with a local!!! So we sat there none to impressed with the 13hr trip we had ahead of us, and wondered what enjoyments we had to come as instead of travellers boarding there were more local folk!! The contenders were ..... to our left the 2nd loudest snorer we had come across since our train journey to Chang Mai, and to our right a small child proabably no older than 3 or 4 who we figured would either konk out or keep us up half the night!!! The two kept us waiting, as the snores mixed with the childish yelps of exhaustion mixed, but suddenly out of no where came a late contenstant......the woman bang smack in front of us (the alley way was barely a foot, so you can paint the picture.....) suddenly started being sick into a plastic bag!!! At this point I think we all just laughed to conserve the tears and dread that we had 12 more hrs of this to come!!! Trying to find a comfortable position, in such a small bed was difficult but ended up in the three of us spooning to get us all in the bed, and sleep was minimal, marked with the snoring and constant stench of the lady throwing up!!! When we arrived in Paksi (the change over point) at 6.30am none of us spoke for at least half an hour!!! Then we got ourselves together to get on the 2hr local bus to get to 4000 islands!!!
After 2hrs, and a bout 20mins more sleep we arrived at the islands, ready to take the boat over to Don Khong! When we arrived I think we were all taken aback at the quietness!!! There was NOTHING there!!!! Literally a few hotels and 2 restaurants!!! We quicklly realised that we had to change some money so went to the local bank, where we couldn't believe that a country so poor could actually turn down our US dollars, because there were slightly crumpled!!! Luckily we had a few crisp notes so managed to get a few!!! Went back to the hotel, played cards (which we are all becoming quite good at, but would appreciate if any of you could send us some more card game idea, as Rummy, Go fish, sevens and triumphs is getting slightly tedious now!!!) We made the fatal mistake of watching Harold and Kumah (however it's spelt) going to find the burger place, and we literally salivated as we were starving for some western food!!!!
I am craving meat!!!!Really wanting a chilli con carne, and am dreaming of a cup of tea and baked potato with baked beans and cheese!!!AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
Anyway we went to the next island a 2hr 1/2 hr boat ride to Don Khon which I thought would be more built up!!! NO!!!! Imagine Ship Wrecked but with people in huts living there and a fly infested cafe!!! Then Alex suddenly realised he didnt have enough money to get to Cambodia, and than even though Dan and I could afford it, we could didn't have enough for him!!!! We then spent the next hour frantic!!! The nearest cash point meant going back on ourselves, the distance from london to Birmingham!!! yes you read that correct!!!!! At first Alex was going to go back himself, but we said that was stupid, so we hired a bike and road to the next island to see if they would take an exchange for his english pounds!!! As with my US dollars we had enough for Visas and our money clubbed together could afford the 25 US dollars each to Phnom Pennh in Camdodia! Thankfully they excepted the english pounds, but that left us with about 5 pound between us to eat, and it was morning and we had to survive till the next day in scorching temperatures!!!! The hostel ws the worst we stayed in, the island had only got electricity late last year (2008) and it turned off at 10pm!!! It was that bad!!!! So getting changed, cleaning teeth and using a communual bathroom with a torch that attracted all the mossi's that could possibly have lived on the island to us, we clambered into bed!!!! And tried to sleep!!!!
The boat set off at 8am saturday morning, and took `1hr and then we got a mini bus for another 1hr to the border of Laos/Cambodia!!! Only to find we had to pay 2 dollars to leave the flipping country, whilst we got off the bus and our bags headed off with out us!!! Having hardly slept, hardly eaten, fretting about the little money we had and seeing our bags drive into the distance I was about ready to scream at the nearest laos patrol man when he demanded the money to leave his country!!! Then the visa which we thought were 20 dollars suddenly were 21!!! We had exactly 4 dollars left to our name!!!! and then we had to pay another 1 dollar to enter Cambodia!!! They try ripping you off at every corner!!! SO that left us with exactly 1 dollar between all of us!!! 1 dollar!!! 1 dollar, 1 bottle of water that was all we had!!!! The bus that was meant to take 6hrs to phnom Pennh (apparently the quickest direct route) suddenly overheated and started leaking oil, was not airconditioned and the small water we had left was running dry!!! Knowing that Camdodia was mainly dollar accpetant we went to the local stall to buy some water only to find they only accepted their own currency!!! So we had nothing!!! At this point I think we were all about to cry!!! Dan who hadn't eaten for several hours just plodded back to the bus with out a word, Alex took matters into his own hands and went off to see what he could do. I went back to the bus, and about 10 mins later, Dan and I saw Alex this holy vision holding up 2 bottles of water and a bag of pineapple!!! We couldn't have been more pleased, thankfully an american couple had taken pity on us and lent Alex some money!!! It was amazing, words can not explain!!!!!!
6hrs later we were no where near, but arrived in a small town, and managed to use our one dollar to buy 3 pepsi, for sugar levels, and a tub of pringles to keep us going!!! This was our survival kit!!! And god it tasted good, having not eaten since the pineapple where we only had 2 slices each, my shorts were hanging off me and I had gone way past the sick hunger pains about 24 hrs before hand!!!!
The 6hr bus journey turned into 15hrs!!! And we arrived in Cambodia Saturday night about 11pm!!! Quickly locating a cash point, we literally fell at it's feet and kissed it never again to take for granted the beauty that is the ATM!!!!! Money dispensed we located a hotel, and went in search of FOOD!!! Coming across a burger bar, we sat in our stall awaiting our cheese burgers or in Dans case chicken nuggets - never has anything tasted so good!!! My stomach has definetly shrunk as I struggled to eat most of it, and it wasn't even as big as a McDs!!!! But it was pure heaven having not eaten hardly anything for 2days!!!!
Today we slept, and then went for a look round Cambodia, oddly it's more built up than Laos which we weren't expecting - it even has a KFC!!! But none the less the back streets are particuarly grubby and the smell is awful, probably doesn't help that it's near 40 degrees here!!! I certainly wouldn't want to be here with out the guys, as the men leer at you, the market we walked through early actually made me feel quite disgusting as there were about 30 men and made me feel quite uncomfortable!!!
We found a great bar called Bojangles on the river front which must be owned by an Englishman due to the translation of the menu and the offerings. I had pasta, 4 white wines, 2 tequillas and then egg and chips and it came to 14 Us Dollars!!! Needless to say we decided to make up for it tonight both in Alcohol and food!!!
Right its 2am here on Monday morning, so I'm off, the net is quite quick so will upload pics 2mo hopefully!!! Take care for now xxxxxxx